It was Thursday the 18th June 2020. A week to the day after my birthday. It was 6am, and I was up and ready for a Zoom Rooms video conference installation up in Leeds. I was leaving early so I could get there and get back in decent time.
I put all the equipment in the car, and took the normal route out towards Leicester where I could catch the M1 North.
Following an Audi, and a lorry for a couple of miles the road opened up to 2 lanes near Stow on the Wold. The Audi in front went past the lorry and I followed. It was wet and raining. The Audi pulled in front of the lorry and I did not wish to continue past as the road would narrow back to a single lane shortly. I maintained my position in lane 2 as the Audi and I pulled away from the lorry slowly.
All of a sudden the Audi aqua-planned, braked hard and was in my lane. I had no where to go as he swerved into me, sending me across the road through the oncoming lane, and straight into a telegraph pole. The car tipped as it hit the curb, and rolled into a wall.
As everything went quiet I realised I was upside down. I could hear the wipers going. I somehow thought I should switch them off, so I did. I pressed the ignition button to turn the car off. I cannot recall if the engine was running or not.
All of a sudden I heard a female voice. I could only see out of the passenger window, but there was no one there. It was the onboard computer, which had opened a call to the BMW control centre. The car had sent my location, and help was on the way. She asked me how I was, where I was, and which services I needed. I recall just saying “send everyone I am upside down”.
Another voice, this time a male. I saw a face at the passenger door. It was the lorry driver and he had also called 999 and told me to stay still as help was on the way.
I was in agony hanging from the seatbelt. I unbuckled it and fell into the roof of the car. My legs still suspended in the footwell of the car. My right leg wedged into the steering wheel.
There was some blood, and I was hurting all over. I could move most of my body though. A lady appeared at the passenger door and said just stay still. The fire brigade arrived first. Unbeknown to me at the time around 20mins had passed since the accident. Police and Ambulance arrived soon after. The fire brigade had secured the car to stop it from rolling over anymore, as it was wedged against a tree, but on top of a small Cotswold Stonewall.
The paramedics asked about my back, where I could feel pain etc. They did feel down my back and again said just stay still. By this time I had manoeuvred myself out of the footwell and was almost on my hands and knees sat on the inside of the roof.
Time passed, the fire brigade covered me in a thick sheet and begun cutting the passenger door open. I don’t know how long this all took, but I am told by the paramedics it took them around 20mins to secure and open.
Once the door opened a gush of fresh air came in, hitting me in the face hard. My life had flashed before me. I crawled to the opening and with the help of a couple of fire men, climbed out. Everyone stood shocked and amazed. None of them expected me to be able to do that. The paramedics were unsure, but they quickly put me onto a board and in the ambulance strapped me down. They begun assessing me. The police came and and asked for my details. They took my license, and they breathalysed me. Of course I had not been drinking so I was all clear.
Some more time passed in the ambulance. I don’t really know how long. Cheltenham hospital which was the nearest did not have an open A&E dept. It had closed a week earlier. Remember we are in the middle of COVID19!
So it was a 45 min drive to Gloucester hospital. Through the journey, I was feeling more and more pain all over. Once we arrived I was greeted by a nurse putting a mask on me, and checking my temperature, before we could enter the trauma unit.
More tests, bloods were taken, body parts were being checked and some pain killers administered. I had a whole host of scans all which showed no broken bones or serious injury.
How did I survive? How did I not get injured. Everyone I spoke to said seeing the car they were expecting the worst case. scenario.
To walk out of hospital a few hours later is a pure miracle. I have cuts, bruises, aches and pains, but I am alive. I am not sure how but I am.